Nairobi National Park is Kenya’s closest safari destination from the country’s capital, Nairobi. This makes it a very suitable destination for day trips as well as short Kenya safaris at very affordable costs. Established in 1946, Nairobi National Park was the first national park in Kenya.
Located just south of Nairobi capital, the park is also usually referred to as the world’s wildlife capital, because of the wildlife in the park just within the capital.
From the Nairobi capital, it is only just 40 minutes away by car with the city skyscrapers offering a unique backdrop for the wildlife.
For safety, the park is fenced on three sides, however, the southern boundary is open allowing migratory wildlife to move between the park and the adjacent Kitengela plains.
Despite its relatively small size 117.21 square kilometers /45.26 sq. mi), the Nairobi National Park boasts a large and varied wildlife population.
On a short Kenya tour to Nairobi National Park, you have an experience of wildlife viewing with an opportunity to see animals in the scattered acacia.
Black rhinos are one of the animals found in the park. The park is also at times referred to as “Kifaru Ark” which literally means Rhinoceros Sanctuary and it is one of Kenya’s most successful rhinoceros sanctuaries where visitors can be certain of seeing a black rhinoceros.
Some of the animals that can be seen in the Nairobi National Park include the endangered black rhino, leopards, lions, cheetahs, buffaloes, hyenas, and giraffes. baboons, gazelle, Grant’s Zebra, cheetah, Coke’s hartebeest, hippopotamus, lions, African leopard, common eland, impala, Masai giraffe, and waterbuck.
The park is home to over 100 mammal species, four of the Big Five (lion, buffalo, leopard, and rhino). There are spectacular wildebeest and zebra migration that use the Kitengela Conservation area and migratory corridor to the south of the park to reach the Athi-Kapiti plains.
The wildebeest and zebras migrate during July and August. They disperse over the plains in the wet season and return to the park in the dry season.
Large predators like lions, leopards, hyenas, and cheetah are available in the park. Aggregations of large herbivores like elands, buffalo, zebra, and wildlife.
For birders, and travelers interested in seeing birds the park hosts over 400 bird species recorded within the park borders.
With over 400 bird species recorded in the park, Nairobi National Park probably gives Kenya’s capital the longest bird list all in world cities.
Some of the bird species that live in the area include the restricted-range Jackson’s widowbird which breeds in the park regularly after good rains.
Other grassland birds include ostriches, secretary birds, and bustards. Other bird species include the Black-headed heron, Blacksmith Lapwing, Common moorhen, Long-tailed fiscal.
Best time to visit Nairobi National Park
The best time to see wildlife in the park is during the dry season when the concentration of wildlife in the park is greatest.
Small dams built along the Mbagathi River give the park more water resources than these outside areas which attract water-dependent herbivores during the dry season.
Close to the park’s entrance is the David Sheldrick Trust that runs a sanctuary that hand rears orphaned elephant and rhinoceros calves for later release to safe sanctuaries. The sanctuary can also be visited during a day trip or any short Kenya tour.
With the several other parks in the country, there can be many more wildlife safaris in Kenya. Other Africa safari destinations planned by Acacia Safaris include Tanzania safaris for wildlife tours, Uganda gorilla safaris, or Rwanda gorilla tours.